The wait is over, the bell is rung, the whistle is blown, the event of the year is here, and the reaction to this battle royale is pouring with great praise and disappointing jeers. Everyone who has seen this titanic showdown knows that by watching this movie agrees with one thing….the grudge match will be epic in destruction and massive. The question that needs to be ask is….have we seen too many superhero movies that are riddled with huge action sequences and fight scenes that we have become blasé to yet another superhero film?? Just last month, Deadpool came out with rave reviews, including mine, that I satisfied my appetite with enough action movies to last me until the end of the summer. So why do I need to go out and spend my good hard money to watch an alien and a billionaire playboy with family issues battle each other until their bodies are beaten and broken? The answer is…..well I’m not really sure, but I am intrigued to find how the director Zack Snyder is able to pull off such a legendary face off in the comic universe. As an amateur film critic I want to be fair with my reviews, but if I genuinely don’t feel that this film merits a worthy high five, then I will speak out my mind.
With that being said, this merits a semi high-five with not much of a good job. The storyline breaks into three parts throughout the movie. You have to concentrate really hard to try to keep up with the back and forth from Bruce Wayne’s story and Superman’s. The third storyline follows the young Lex Luthor and his devious plan to pit the two main heroes at each other. Although his character is a genius in manipulating the two protagonists, his crazy and manic antics is somewhat surreal and unsettling. The Lex Luthor I know from the comic universe is the exact opposite from this version. Please don’t misunderstand me, I love Jessie Eisenberg, but he just portrays this icon character with unflattering representation.
The struggle with doing the right thing and dealing with the consequences haunts Superman ever since his battle with General Zod. The immediate reaction to his arrival is expected, both by the general public and the U.S. government. Henry Cavill reprises his role as Clark Kent/Superman. He gives the character a sheltered view of a man trying to understand why the public is reacting to his actions. His lackluster approach to the Superman witch hunt and the Batman vigilante in Gotham gives me pause that he can deliver a performance worthy to be called a “super”job. There is nothing special or extraordinary about his character nor his action sequences. I guess the only saving grace to his role is his relationship with his mother, Martha Kent. She is the rock that holds Clark/Superman together, not Lois. I think Diane Lane did a very good job as the mother of an alien who tries to bring sage advice to her son. Lois Lane is again a third wheel in this story. Even though her scenes portray her as the advocate for the man of steel, it comes off as whiny and desperate trying to convince everybody that Superman is the good guy and not a threat. Her character is more of a victim that Superman is always destined to save. Ben Affleck portrays Batman with a clumsy, gringe looking demeanor that uses brute persuasion in order to deliver justice in Gotham. Using the graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns as a reference, Ben delivers a much more convincing role of an aging dark hero trying to serve justice than his counterpart, Superman. In my eyes, the movie is more about Bruce Wayne and his struggle with his parent’s death and his ongoing battle with nightmares that haunt him daily. Bruce takes on the man of steel after he witnesses firsthand the utter destruction of Metropolis by Superman and Zod. His alter ego, Bruce Wayne, takes on the mantle of trying to be a dashing, suave billionaire, but it isn’t convincing enough to sway my vote for playboy of the year. His charm falls flat when he tries to woo over Diana Prince/Wonder Woman played Gal Gadot. Their first encounter is somewhat bittersweet when she upstages him at a party hosted by Lex Luthor. Gal Gadot is a refreshing tall glass of cool water in this very dark and moody film. Her entrance as Wonder Woman steals the show out from under Superman and Batman’s feet, plus her fighting skills are crazy good.
The title is a little misleading because you would think it is going to be a slugfest throughout the entire film, but the only time where they fight is at the end of the film. The rest of the film is a build up to the title match. Most of the film is an emotional joyride and several crazy dream sequences that our main characters are put through to give an understanding of what they are dealing with. Most of the scenes are too drawn out and too dramatic, and the action sequences are not as impressive between Batman and Superman. The final fight scene between Batman, Superman, and Wonder woman against Doomsday is explosive, but it isn’t the male heroes that took the gold medal, it’s the Amazonian princess that catches my eye and everyone else in the theatre. The ending of the film definitely sets up the storyline for them to join up with other superheroes that make up the Justice League.
I really wanted to enjoy this film, but it just didn’t have that punch that I expected. There are some parts that are enjoyable, but it is overpowered by a lot of droning, long dramatic moments. There are too many plot lines that seem to be pushed into the film and takes away the heart of the story. The characters are all a hot mess that only a great therapist could fix, well maybe not all of them, but it is worth a shot. Maybe if you see it a few times, it might be imprinted in your head that you will probably start to enjoy it. But that’s just my opinion.
I give this film two and half out of five movie stubs.